Cheatham ready for Neshoba County Fair
Kevin Cheatham has been busy since he started as the Neshoba County Fair Manager in January.
Cheatham took over the position after longtime manager Doug Johnson retired in January.
“So far everything is going well,” Cheatham said. “We are just trying to get prepared and make sure we have everything in place and ready to go so we can welcome everyone in July.”
Specifically, Cheatham said he and his team have made repairs and upgrades at the cattle and horse barns as well as replacing the benches on the east side of the Pavilion, part of a four year long term plan to replace the surrounding benches which have begun to show signs of rot.
The 55 year old graduated of Neshoba Central got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees form Mississippi State University.
Cheatham took the Fair Manager job after retiring from just over 33 years in education. He spent most of his career in the Lauderdale School System where he wore a lot of hats and had many titles but he finished as the Director of Operations and Safety. He said he looked forward to the new challenges his job as Fair Manager presented.
The Neshoba County Native is the son of the late Mona Lou Nell and Tommie Creed Cheatham. Cheatham grew up going to the Fair and said it is a part of his life for which he has a “genuine love.”
His parents built their cabin the year he was born and Cheatham estimates he has missed six total days of the Fair in the 55 years he has been alive.
Cheatham said he likes the “fun atmosphere” and treats the Fair as one big family reunion.
“The Fair is a time to meet up with old friends and make some new ones,” Cheatham said. “It really is something to behold.”
Utilities were restored to cabins on Monday morning and Cheatham said he expects a busy weekend on the Fairgrounds as cabin owners begin to open up their cabins for the first time since last summer.
“We want to make sure that everyone has a great experience and can enjoy their cabins,” Cheatham said.
Cheatham looks forward to enjoying the Fair with his family. He is married to Jackie Cheatham, who is the children’s minister at First Baptist Church.
His children are Ben, 30, and Caroline, 17. The Cheathams adopted Caroline from Russia 15 years ago.
Ben is married to Kate and their daughter, Scottie, is a little over a year old.